HealthCare Chaplaincy, a N.Y.-based professional chaplaincy services group, awarded a grant of $209,000 funded by the John Templeton Foundation to ELCA-affiliated Advocate Health Care for an 18-month research project on chaplains in palliative care settings.
Researchers will focus on three Advocate hospitals in Illinois as well as its electronic program for the intensive care unit through which off-site physicians, nurses and telemetry data augment patient care.
"Statistics show that the majority of health-care costs happen in the last few months of life," said Kathie Bender Schwich, Advocate senior vice president for mission and spiritual care. "Palliative health care is an area that is growing."
Added project director Kevin Massey, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital vice president for mission and spiritual care: "The goal of palliative care is comfort, quality of life and dignity, rather than a cure."
Advocate's grant will help create a taxonomy, or a way to categorize activities for chaplaincy activities in palliative care.
"For example, prayer with a patient would be a high-level item [and] underneath would be more specific types of prayer, such as liturgical, free-form, silent or the Lord's Prayer," Massey said. "The benefit is having a common terminological set — something the world of chaplaincy doesn't currently possess."
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